Everyone has been in this situation: you’ve found the perfect pair of shoes. They look great, are in the perfect color and style, and are ideal in every way, except for one thing. They don’t fit. Perhaps they’re too big, and when you put your foot in the shoe, it slides around, making the nearly perfect shoe almost impossible to wear. If that sounds familiar, then keep reading to find how to make your shoes fit better.
You may not be familiar with shrinking shoes, so we’ve put together a guide on how to shrink shoes appropriately to make them fit. This way you can keep your favorite shoes without worrying about blisters and discomfort.
How to Shrink your Shoes to the Perfect Size
There are three main options to use to shrink shoes. All are simple options that work perfectly for leather shoes, and none of them need specialist tools or equipment. Most people will already have all of the things they need for these shoe shrinking methods on hand. None are better or worse than another, so pick whichever one appeals to you most!
Shrinking Shoes with a Blow Dryer
This is a good method to use for leather shoes. You’ll need a spray bottle of water and a blow dryer. Use the spray bottle to spray a generous amount of water onto your shoe. You don’t want to soak the shoe completely, but you will need to make it fairly wet. After you have sprayed water on the shoes use your blow dryer, set to a medium heat, to dry the water out of the shoes. The heat from the blow dryer will shrink your leather shoes, making them fit your feet better. Once your shoes are completely dry and there is no water left in the leather, put them on and see if they fit your feet the way you would like. If they are still a bit too loose, just get the dryer and water bottle back out again and repeat the process!
Using a Clothes Dryer to shrink shoes
A pair of canvas shoes will take a slightly more intensive shrinking process in order to get them to fit as well as you would like. For this method, you will want a large amount of water and a clothes dryer. Remember, this only works for canvas shoes and not leather ones. Using this method on a leather shoe can damage the leather and ruin the shoes!
Soak your shoes completely with water and put them in the dryer. Leave them in the dryer between 10 and 15 minutes, and they should be noticeably smaller by the time your shoes are fully dry.
Adding Cushions to your Shoes
If you don’t want to deal with the trouble of getting your shoes wet and then leaving them to dry, then you can pad your shoes with carefully placed cushions. If your shoe is too long for your foot, insert an insole in the back of your foot. If there is too much space around your toes or if there is a gap between the top of your shoe and your foot, then a full-sized insole or a focused toe insole should be ideal.
Can you Shrink Vans Slip ons?
As long as your Vans are only a little too large, you can shrink them to fit your feet better. If the rubber sole element is too large, then you won’t be able to do anything to that part, and no amount of shrinking will help your shoes to fit. If it is just the canvas part that is too large, however, then that can easily be shrunk so that your shoes are a better size for your feet. Let us take a look at how to make vans shoes smaller.
Shrinking Vans Slightly
If your vans shoes are only a little bit too large for your feet, then you can easily start shrinking them down to size a little bit with a regular household blow dryer. This is a simple process that should pose no problems, but it won’t make an enormous difference to the size of your vans shoes. This option is best for vans canvas shoes that are only a tiny bit too large for your feet and only require a little bit of shrinking to be perfect.
To start with, wet your shoes with water. The wetter you manage to get the canvas uppers of your shoes, the more shrinkage you will be able to get out of them. Wetter shoes will take longer to dry out, though, so the process will take longer!
Once you have wet the canvas uppers of your vans shoes, grab a standard blow dryer, set it to a medium heat, and use it to dry out the canvas. As the heat hits the canvas, it will start shrinking the fabric as it dries. By the time your shoes are completely dried out, they should be a little bit smaller, thanks to the heat.
Shrinking Vans more in the Dryer
While this option still won’t do anything to the rubber sole parts of your vans shoes, if you want to try shrinking the canvas upper part of the shoes by a larger amount, then a standard home clothes dryer might help. Soak the canvas uppers of your vans shoes with water to start with. Be sure to evenly soak the entirety of the shoes for the most even shrinkage possible. Any areas that are not wet will remain the same size!
Once your shoes are thoroughly wet, just put them in your clothes dryer. Run the machine for somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes, and the heat should work well for shrinking the canvas fabric and helping your shoes to be more comfortable.
The options listed above all work equally well, but will depend on the type of shoe (and material) you need to shrink, along with your comfort level.
Remember not to put any leather shoes in the clothes dryer, nor should you use any heat-based method patent leather footwear. Patent leather is nearly impossible to reduce in size properly, and your only option there is to pad them out with cushions or insoles.
No matter your hesitation, any of the shoe shrinking options above should be easy to complete at home. None of these require specialist skills or equipment, and most people should be able to have a go at these methods without needing any additional equipment!
Expert Tip by Alexis DeSalva Kahler
The type of method you should use to shrink your shoes depends on the fabric. Don’t put leather shoes in the dryer!